Stuck in the abyss of late-August movie inferiority, it’s important to remind one’s self that September is just around the bend—meaning, it’s almost time for Hollywood’s awards season rush. Within mere weeks, major studios and indie companies alike will begin unspooling their finest properties, ranging from prestigious dramas starring A-list talent to smaller film festival darlings ready to kick-start the careers of currently unknown filmmakers.

Until then, though, we’re still vulnerable to awful Z-grade horror like The Apparition, so-so diversions like Premium Rush, and incomprehensible children’s flicks like Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure. Which, of course, begs the question, what the hell is an Oogielove?

Rather than search for the answer to that inquiry, let’s instead look back on all that’s come before Oogieloves. From long-awaited blockbusters that didn’t disappoint to indie breakthroughs still being discovered by audiences, this summer’s crop of new films was a formidable one.

Granted, to catch most of the better flicks, you had to steer clear of AMC venues and find the nearest art-house cinema or stay home and utilize Video On-Demand platforms, but greatness was definitely out there. To see just how exceptional the last few months have been, get familiar with The 25 Best Movies Of Summer 2012. And to all you comic book fanboys, we apologize in advance.

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Written by Matt Barone (@MBarone)